The blonde, waif-like Sharon Craine studies physics by day and sings karaoke by night. She lives in Ukrainian Village.
The Mutiny—I wouldn’t say I was always there all the time. When I first went it was mostly for the karaoke, but I remember we just did stupid shit. One night I remember Liz and Joe and Derrick and Pete and Rachel and I—we toilet papered the bar. At the end of the night there was toilet paper everywhere. This was totally ridiculous, but they didn’t care. Ed* is pretty laid back, as long as people aren’t getting injured, and as along as you’re having fun.
I remember Ed telling me about some band, and they would just come in and they would throw chunks of ceiling at each other. So I think that’s just sort of how it’s always been. And they just want bands. As many bands as possible. You know, other places are always worried about, How are we going to bring in money at the door? But the way the Mutiny works is, they can’t ever charge a cover, but they can charge more for the drinks or something when the bands are in. So for them it doesn’t really matter what bands are in, just get a band there. So I think it’s sort of cool that they just want bands. So they’ll sort of take anybody. My boyfriend’s band has played there. It’s always been that venue where anybody’s welcome to play, as long as you like the space.
And I like the place. They have all the ceiling tiles painted by different people and I remember the night the night they put the first one in. It was pretty cool, I always liked that. If I had any artistic ability, I’d do one myself. But I don’t.
Ed always talks about how he wants to bring in people from the suburbs and stuff, but I never really saw it that way. You just get a really weird mix of people, like you get the older people, so it has that old-man bar type feel, then you have the punk-rockers who come in, and then you have the—I remember one of the karaoke guys, Edgar, he was this Hispanic guy with this long hair and he would headbang and sing—Oh, I can’t remember the band. And then there were people like me, just normal people, boring people, regular people who would come in.
I am studying physics. My specialization is astrophysics, and even more specialized, I focus on instrumentation. It does mean—I do like to travel, so it’s sort of cool that we get to go to all these different places. But on the other hand, I get sick of traveling. I just got back from Hawaii two weeks ago and that was my fourth run within a year, or not even a year, like ten months. And we have two more runs coming up. It’s a nine-hour flight and you’re at altitude for a week at a time and you’re working the late shift so your sleep schedule is messed up. So I enjoy going, because it’s good for my research, but at the same time it’s also very tiring. You don’t realize how much you enjoy being stationary until you’re always on the move. You just want to stay put.
I like Chicago a lot and after graduation I would like to stay here. The only problem is in academia it’s really hard to find a place to live and then pick a job. You look for, where are the jobs? And then you go and move there.
Or you can always work for the government. You know, NASA’s hiring. Sometimes. I actually have a NASA fellowship, and a lot of people who get this fellowship go on to work at NASA.
But you couldn’t just start doing astrophysics on your own—build a rocket in your backyard.
No. I couldn’t. Oh my god, there would be so much red tape. [Laughs.] I’m actually not a rocket scientist. So don’t get your hopes up. People are always like, Oh you work in astronomy! Show me all the constellations you know! I’m like, I’m in instrumentation, I don’t know the night sky. I could look it up and point the telescope.
*Ed is the owner of the Mutiny. He opened the joint in 1990.